'Safe Streets Bill' Fails to Advance out of State Transpo Committee
After heavy opposition from the Teamsters and the Automobile Club (AAA), Assemblyman Paul Krekorian's AB 766, otherwise known as the "safe streets bill," failed to advance out of the transportation committee's today. That doesn't mean it failed--it just didn't get seconded--but it will either fade away until forgotten or the more likely outcome, until it's tweaked to incorporate opponent's comments and concerns.
The bill is meant to give local governments who wish to have police use radar more control over speed limit increases, which are currently forced to evaluate and raise if 85% of drivers are speeding. The current law is meant to stop governments, usually small and rural towns, from lowering limits to make speed traps. The unintended consequences happened in larger and denser cities where the raised speed limits put pedestrians and cyclists at odds. AB 766 would force cities looking to retain a speed limit to hold a public hearing and make an official finding.
The California Highway Patrol did not join the Teamsters and Automobile Club in officially opposing the bill, but they had a lot of questions about the AB 766's effectiveness. The committee's chair, Mike Eng reportedly claimed "it's worked for the last 30-50 years," and called for a no vote. Krekorian will keep working on the bill and the committee will review of the specifics of state law that deal with this bill.